UK

Simon Jones Admits Killing One-Year-Old Son Daniel With Heroin Overdose

10/06/2013 19:03 BST | Updated 10/08/2013 10:12 BST
PA

A man has admitted killing his 23-month-old son who died of a heroin overdose.

Daniel Jones was found collapsed at his home last May, and tests found he died from a heroin overdose.

Today his father Simon Jones, 30, pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

His partner, Daniel's mother Emma Bradburn, 34, admitted a charge of causing the child's death.

Paramedics were called to the family's home in Windsor Avenue, Wolverhampton, on the morning of May 29 last year after Daniel could not be roused. The youngster was taken to hospital but died later.

Bradburn and Jones were arrested and charged after police found a small cannabis factory in the loft of the couple's three-bedroom house.

A serious case review is under way by Wolverhampton Safeguarding Children Board into the circumstances surrounding Daniel's death, West Midlands Police said.

Speaking after today's heaing, Detective Inspector John Smith, from Wolverhampton Public Protection Unit, said: "This is a tragic case where a young life has so needlessly been lost because of the carelessness of those who should have been there to ensure his safety.

"Officers who initially visited the scene reported finding a clean and well-maintained house that looked like any 'normal' family home - but then upstairs we found a very different story.

"Away from the areas where people may visit, the main bedroom was untidy and strewn with drug paraphernalia and this is the room in which the family slept.

"It seems that during his short life, Daniel became accustomed to living amongst these items and, tragically, consumed a quantity of heroin that ultimately led to his death.

"We don't know exactly how the youngster came to ingest the illegal drug, but we do know that he should never have been exposed to them in any case.

"Those who should have been caring him for him ultimately caused his untimely and tragic death."

The pair will be sentenced at Wolverhampton Crown Court in July.

Hayley Firman, head of West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service's Public Protection Unit, said: "Simon Jones and Emma Bradburn were both regular users of drugs and it was through their illegal drugs activities which resulted in the death of their 23-month-old son, Daniel Jones.

"Daniel was rushed to the New Cross Hospital last year following complications with his breathing, but he had already succumbed to his condition and doctors were unable to save him.

"The pathologist's toxicology examination of hair samples taken from Daniel identified that he had been exposed to heroin and cannabis chronically as well as amphetamine and cocaine.

"There was also evidence of recent administration of illicit heroin found within his blood. The level was high and within the range of deaths from heroin overdose in adults with little or no tolerance to the drug.

"The defendants' home was searched where drugs paraphernalia was discovered as well as a cannabis factory.

"It is the duty for any responsible parents to protect their children from harm and drugs, but Jones and Bradburn exposed their young, defenceless son to an unsuitable environment, which contained hard drugs that would ultimately lead to his death.

"I would like to take this opportunity to praise my prosecution team who worked very closely with the police to ensure that justice was delivered for Daniel."